Medical Refrigerators and Freezers for Safe Vaccine Storage

CDC Suitable Freezers and Refrigerators for Vaccine Storage 

Benchtop, undercounter, upright single door, double door and combo models

vaccination freezers and refrigerators

PHCbi refrigerators, freezers and combo refrigerators/freezers are available.

Medical Grade Pharmacy, Biomedical and Laboratory Refrigerators and Freezers

  • Refrigerators incorporate specifically designed refrigeration systems, protecting vaccines from freezing
  • Microprocessor controls assure precise temperature throughout the chamber
  • Easy to view control panel displays with alarm systems that have access to remote monitoring
  • Forced air systems provide close top-to-bottom uniformity at all shelf and drawer levels
  • Reserve cooling for rapid temperature recovery following door openings
  • Tolerance for high ambient temperature with high performance refrigeration systems and superior CFC free insulation
freezers and refrigerators for vaccine storage

PHCbi biomedical and laboratory refrigerators and freezers are available in a variety of configurations including undercounter, upright and combo refrigerator/freezer cabinets.

Pharmacy Refrigerators
Annual Doses Administered / Cabinet Size
PHCbi Refrigerator Model
Low Volume, less than 500 doses/year
1.62 cu.ft. to 12 cu.ft.
Moderate Volume, 500 to 2,000 doses/year
12 cu.ft. to 17.3 cu.ft.
Large Volume, 2,000 to 10,000 doses/year
17.3 cu.ft. to 48 cu.ft.
Very Large Volume, 10,000+ doses/year
48 cu.ft.

*ENERGY STAR® Certified. Visit for a complete listing of PHCbi ENERGY STAR products.

Note: ENERGY STAR does not include a category for combo refrigerator/freezer cabinets.



Vaccine Storage Recommendations

If a vaccine freezes, its efficacy may be diminished or destroyed without visible indication to administering clinicians. Thus, vaccines inadvertently frozen in cold chain distribution or local storage may not offer protection to patients.1
In an effort to assure the quality of vaccines at the end of the distribution cold chain, the United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has published guidelines for best practices in vaccine storage.2 These guidelines, which continue to evolve, are based on studies conducted by the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST).3
These guidelines, established in 2014, were designed to isolate and identify the conditions that affect vaccine efficacy and storage integrity, including the following areas of focus:
  • Must offer dedicated storage in a stand-alone refrigerator specifically designed to establish and maintain key performance parameters.
  • Dormitory-style units should not be used under any circumstances. This type of refrigerator poses a significant risk of freezing a vaccine even when it is used for temporary storage. A NIST report showed that this type of unit demonstrated inconsistent temperature control, regardless of where the vaccine was located in the chamber. Within 2 weeks of use, median temperature of the refrigerator setpoint had drifted approximately 4°C lower, freezing the vaccines contained inside.4
  • Must maintain accurate, uniform and repeatable storage temperature over a range of 2°C to 8°C. The PHC Corporation factory setpoint is 5°C.
  • Must protect from freezing temperatures anywhere in the refrigerator. This is critical for storage of small vaccine doses that can freeze quickly.
  • Must be monitored by a NIST calibrated thermometer, documented with a certificate of calibration. The CDC recommended uncertainty is +/- 0.5°C.5


PHC Corporation of North America

PHC Corporation of North America is a subsidiary of PHC Holdings Corporation, Tokyo, Japan, a global leader in development, design and manufacturing of laboratory equipment for biopharmaceutical, life sciences, academic, healthcare and government markets. Product lines under the new PHCbi brand include the space saving and energy efficient VIP® ECO, TwinGuard® and VIP Series ultra-low temperature freezers, cryogenic and biomedical freezers, pharmacy and high performance refrigerators, cell culture CO2 and multigas incubators, portable autoclaves, Drosophila/plant growth chambers and cell processing work stations. For more product information, please call PHC Corporation of North America at 800-858-8442, email or visit

1 A 2012 Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) report revealed improper storage of some vaccines from the Vaccines for Children (VFC) program serving an estimated 40 million children through a national network.
2 NSF International (NSF) and The U.S. Center for Disease Control and Prevention have assigned industry consultants comprised of leading refrigeration and freezer cabinet manufacturers, including PHC Corporation of North America, to establish vaccine storage guidelines with an emphasis on establishing criteria for storage refrigerators to protect refrigerated vaccines from freezing. These criteria will require that all vaccines be stored in refrigerators that meet performance standards currently offered by PHC.
3 U.S. Center for Disease Control and Prevention. (2019). CDC Vaccine Storage and Handling Toolkit. Atlanta, GA. Retrieved from
4 U.S. National Institute of Standards and Technology. (2009). Thermal analysis of refrigeration systems used for vaccine storage. Gaithersburg, MD: Chojnacky, M., Miller, W., Ripple, D., & Strouse, G. Retrieved from
5 The PR-L2466W-PA displays temperature in 0.1°C increments to enable easier tracking and reporting.